If you’re a dog or cat owner, you’ve probably seen various lists warning you about the dangers of certain plants you’ll want to avoid for the interior and exterior of your home. That’s because they can be toxic to either species, and some plants make the list for both. These lists are extremely useful for avoiding these dangers, but you seldom see lists that point you in the direction of plants that are safe for pets. With that in mind, here is a list of 10 plants you can use in your home décor that pose no threat to dogs or cats.
A favorite among interior decorators, orchids provide beautiful, long lasting blooms in a variety of colors that add a touch of hothouse elegance to any room. Fortunately, according to the ASPCA, two of the most popular specimens are completely safe for pets. They are dendrobium and phalaenopsis, and when it comes to care they require little in the way of fuss.
2. Staghorn Fern
Often seen mounted on a wall or in a hanging metal basket, these interesting conversation starters provide a unique addition to any design plan and could quite easily qualify as art. Like orchids, misting is part of their simple upkeep regimen.
3. Ponytail Palms
A lot of people look for small trees for large spaces that need filling with a little greenery. For something that provides the perfect accent for a more modern space, ponytail palms are just what the horticulturist ordered. Fairly slow growing and super easy to care for, they won’t litter your house with dead leaves, either.
4. Areca Palms
For a showier palm with more of a splash, the ever-popular areca has been gracing homes, lobbies and restaurant dining rooms, among other indoor spaces, as long as it’s been popular to bring the outside inside. As an added benefit, these tropical plants not only lend an exotic flair, but they aid in increasing air purification.
5. Spider Plant
With its variegated leaves, spider plants make excellent potted plants, especially on tall stands or in hanging baskets. One of the nice features about them is that they’re always producing babies, which can easily be rooted for starter plants. That, and the fact that they also aid in air purification, makes them a great choice for home use.
Another air plant, these small examples of alternative gardening make welcome additions to any spot that needs a dash of color without taking up any space. Like the staghorn, they can be nestled on a piece of wood or in a basket and hung or placed almost anywhere. Don’t forget to mist it.
7. Maidenhair Fern
Speaking of misting, another plant that is suitable for homes with pets is the maidenhair fern. A somewhat fragile thing of delicate beauty, this particular fern enjoys a humid environment, so don’t place it near or in front of air vents. Enticing to cats, it’s best displayed on a very tall plant stand or from a hanging basket.
8. Boston Fern
This lush green fern provides a wonderful accent to both modern and more traditional spaces. Like the maidenhair, its feathery fronds can be tempting for cats to bat at and play with, so if you don’t want to come home to a shredded mess you may want to pot it in a hanging basket or place it somewhere it can’t be destroyed.
9. Dwarf Olive Tree
If you’re looking for a small tree as an accent but you aren’t interested in a palm and ficus is obviously out of the question (sap causes gastrointestinal and skin upsets in pets), then you may want to consider this dwarf tree as a suitable substitute. When placed in a large planter with good drainage and plenty of sun they do quite well.
10. Money Tree
Another interesting choice for an indoor plant that won’t harm pets is the money tree. Native to swamps in Central and South America, its trunk can be braided like a ficus and it’s considered to bring good luck and prosperity, according to the tenets of feng shui. Easy to care for, as a houseplant it can eventually reach up to 8 feet in height.
Before bringing any of these plants into your home, make sure you will be able to provide them with the conditions they’ll need to survive. Otherwise, you’ll just be throwing your money away, and nobody needs that.